Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Michael K. Watters


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


The control of branching in Neurospora crassa has been studied under numerous environmental conditions. Here we present the observations of N. crassa morphology in simulated low-gravity across two main experiments. Wildtype samples were grown on solid and liquid media. The control group was grown on the lab bench while the experimental group was grown in a clinostat. In the first experiment, the samples were allowed to grow for two days so that the edges of growth could be observed. Qualitative properties including density and growth patterns were first compared. Photographs of microscope images were then used to measure branch intervals, frequency of branching, and branch types. In the second experiment, growth rates were calculated using the amount of growth every 24 hours over four days. Using statistical analysis, it was found that lateral branching, branch intervals, and growth rates were not significantly different between control and experimental samples. However, the growth patterns and density variations were dissimilar, and significant difference was found with the number of main hyphae and apical branching. It was concluded that simulated low-gravity has some effects on the morphology of N. crassa.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Maya Nietzel is a senior Biochemistry student at Valparaiso University. She became interested in this research after learning about how environmental factors affect plant and fungal morphologies. In the future she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Biochemistry.

Leanna Steverson is a recent graduate of IvyTech Community College. She has always had a fascination with fungi and was excited to be a part of a research project that would further expand her knowledge. In the future she plans to pursue a degree in Biology.